Stephen Cox Garden Trust is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239)

Garden Statuary

Garden Statuary

The garden statues are divided in five categories:

1. Graeco-Roman deities.

2. Mythological creatures.

3. Mammals.

4. Other/Classical.

5. Sundry.

 

I like to have statues in the garden for several reasons: they add focal points to help guide the eye and the perspective of the landscape design; increase the range height levels; provide historical and cultural interest; aid a certain tranquillity and timelessness.

Graeco-Roman Deities

DEITIES

At present there are five Classical style statues of this category. They are in an ancient Graeo-Roman style of the Classical period of European antiquity. The statues are:

Mars/Ares.

Athene/Minerva.

Helios/Apollo.

Artemis/Diana.

Eros & Psyche.

 

They are, as far as I am aware, copies of ancient statues or those of the nineteenth century Neo-Classical revival (as in the style of the Ventian sculptor Antonio Canova 1757-1822). I am still trying to find information about the originals.

 

The structures are cast, I think, in one or two pieces using a cement/powdered stone/ & marble mix. And then (according to the Italian studios manufacturing them) covered in a compound using white Carrara marble.

 

They are are all just over 5 foot high + pedstals of about 7 inches. They weigh (as I found out through bitter experrence) approximately 150kilos each for Diana and for Apollo, to 205+ kilos for Mars and for Athene and finally to 225 kilos for Eros and Psyche.


Mars/Ares

Mars

 

Mars

Ares, the Greek god of war,  was one of the Twelve Olympians in the archaic tradition represented by the Iliad and Odyssey.In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship. He was born in Thrace and for that people he was their patron. He was noted as the founder of Thebes. His sons Fear (Phobos) and Terror (Deimos) and his lover, or sister, Discord (Enyo) accompanied him on his war chariot.

 

Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to. The birds of Ares (Ornithes Areioi) were a flock of feather-dart-dropping birds that guarded the Amazons' shrine of the god on a coastal island in the Black Sea.

 

The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars, who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity. There were symbolic gates at the civic area in Rome and when there was war the gates were opened.

 

In Renaissance and Neoclassical works of art, Ares's symbols are a spear and helmet, his animal is the fig and his bird is the vulture. 

 

 


Diana/Artemis

Diana

 In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, andnature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was eventually equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy. Diana was worshipped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism andStregheria. Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, along with Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.      

The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connection with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the heavenly world (diuummeans sky or open air) in its sovereignty, supremacy, impassibility, and indifference towards such secular matters as the fates of mortals and states. At the same time, however, she is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and in the preservation of humankind through the protection of childbirth.

 

Oak groves were especially sacred to her as were deer. According to mythology (in common with the Greek religion and their deity Artemis), Diana was born with her twin brother, Apollo, on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. She made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeriathe water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god.


Athene/Minerva

Athene

She is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena. Athena is known for her calm temperament, as she moves slowly to anger. She is noted to have only fought for just reasons, and would not fight without just cause.

She is portrayed as an astute companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour.

 

She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.Veneration of Athena was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. It has been suggested that, at least at some point in her history, Athena has been a solar deity. Athena bears traits common with Indo-European solar goddesses.

 

Athena as the goddess of philosophy became an aspect of her cult in Classical Greece during the late 5th century BC. She is the patroness of various crafts, especially of weaving.She represents intelligence, humility, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, the arts, eloquence and power. She stands for Truth, Justice, and Moral values. She plays a tough, clever and independent role.


Apollo/Helios

 

Apollo

Also called ‘Hunter’ and ‘Apollo the Hunter’. Has a similarity to the ‘Pastoral Apollo’ a marble of 1825 by John Flaxman. (British 1755-1826) in Petworth House. UK. It is similar to a statue of the Imperial Roman period.  

  

He is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities inclassical Greek and Roman religion and Greekand Roman mythology. The ideal of thekouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.      

 

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadlyplague. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion overcolonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses(Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a commonattribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.      

 

Apollo was worshipped throughout theRoman Empire. In the traditionally Celtic lands he was most often seen as a healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.  

 

 


Eros and Psyche

Eros & Psyche

 

It is also called: Cupid And Psyche;  Primo Amore;  and The Lovers. Although the male figure is wingless and thus not Cupid as he is usually shown in later art works. The story tells of the struggle for love and trust between Eros and Psyche. Aphrodite was jealous of the beauty of mortal princess Psyche, as men were leaving her altars barren to worship a mere human woman instead, and so she commanded her son Eros, the god of love, to cause Psyche to fall in love with the ugliest creature on earth. But instead, Eros falls in love with Psyche himself and spirits her away to his home. Their fragile peace is ruined by a visit from Psyche's jealous sisters, who cause Psyche to betray the trust of her husband. Wounded, Eros leaves his wife, and Psyche wanders the Earth, looking for her lost love. Eventually she approaches Aphrodite and asks for her help. Aphrodite imposes a series of difficult tasks on Psyche, which she is able to achieve by means of supernatural assistance.

 

After successfully completing these tasks, Aphrodite relents and Psyche becomes immortal to live alongside her husband Eros. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas or Hedone (meaning physical pleasure, bliss).

 

In Greek mythology, Psyche was the deification of the human soul. She was portrayed in ancient mosaics as a goddess with butterfly wings (because psyche was also the Ancient Greek word for 'butterfly'). The Greek word psyche literally means "soul, spirit, breath, life or animating force".

 

Eros appears in ancient Greek sources under several different guises. In the earliest sources (the cosmogonies, the earliest philosophers, and texts referring to the mystery religions), he is one of the primordial gods involved in the coming into being of the cosmos. But in later sources, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form, often illicitly. Ultimately, in the later satirical poets, he is represented as a blindfolded child, the precursor to the chubby Renaissance Cupid, whereas in early Greek poetry and art, Eros was depicted as an adult male who embodies sexual power, and a profound artist.  According to Hesiod (c. 700 BC), one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros (the god of love) was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos, Gaia (the Earth), and Tartarus

 

A cult of Eros existed in pre-classical Greece, but it was much less important than that of Aphrodite. However, in late antiquity, Eros was worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae. In Athens, he shared a very popular cult with Aphrodite, and the fourth day of every month was sacred to him

 

This version appears to be derived from or related to a marble Cupid and Psyche conserved in the Capitoline Museums, Rome, is a 1st or 2nd century CE Roman copy of a late Hellenistic original. It was given to the nascent Capitoline Museums byPope Benedict XIV in 1749, shortly after its discovery.

 

Its graceful balance and sentimental appearance made it a favourite among the neoclassical generations of artists and visitors, and it was copied in many materials from small bronzes to bisque porcelain.

 

 

Antonio Canova consciously set out to outdo the Antique original with his own Cupid and Psyche of 1808 . The sculpture was discovered in the garden of the vigna of the canonico Panicale on the Aventine Hill.


Mythological Creatures

MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES

These are cat-related creatures from European or from Classical mythology. At present they are:

 

Griffins

Is a legendary creature with the body, tail, andback legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures. Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In legend, griffins not only mated for life, but if either partner died, then the other would continue the rest of its life alone, never to search for a new mate.    

 

There is evidence of representations of griffins in Ancient Iranian and Ancient Egyptian art dating back to before 3000 BC.     In Iran, griffins appeared oncylinder seals from Susa as early as 3000 BC. Griffin depictions appear in the Levant,Syria, and Anatolia in the Middle Bronze Age, dated at about 1950-1550 BC. Early depictions of griffins in Ancient Greek art are found in the 15th century BC frescoes in theThrone Room of the Bronze Age Palace ofKnossos, as restored by Sir Arthur Evans. It continued being a favored decorative theme in Archaic and Classical Greek art.   In the Achaemenid Persian Empire they  considered the griffin "a protector from evil, witchcraft and secret slander".      

 

Being a union of a terrestrial beast and an aerial bird, it was seen inChristendom to be a symbol of Jesus, who was both human and divine. As such it can be found sculpted on some churches.          When it emerged as a major seafaring powerin the Middle Ages and Renaissance, griffins commenced to be depicted as part of theRepublic of Genoa's coat of arms, rearing at the sides of the shield bearing the Cross of St. George.      

 

In heraldry, the griffin's amalgamation of lion and eagle gains in courage and boldness, and it is always drawn to powerful fierce monsters. It is used to denote strength and military courage and leadership.      In British heraldry, a male griffin is shown without wings, its body covered in tufts of formidable spikes, with a short tusk emerging from the forehead, as for a unicorn. The female griffin with wings is more commonly used.

 

Sphinx

Ethnologist Ivar Lissner theorized that cave paintings of beings combining human and animal features were not physical representations of mythical hybrids, but were instead attempts to depict shamans in the process of acquiring the mental and spiritual attributes of various beasts or power animals.  

 

The Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle of travellers to allow them passage.    In contrast to the sphinx in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece, where the traditions largely have been lost due to the discontinuity of the civilization, the traditions of the "Asian sphinx" are very much alive today.      The Indian conception of a sphinx that comes closest to the classic Greek idea is in the concept of the Sharabha, a mythical creature, part lion, part man and part bird, and the form of Sharabha that god Shiva took on to counter Narasimha's violence.  

 

 In art, the Sphinx underwent a revival from the late15th.century on. Sphinxes were included in the decoration of the loggia of the Vatican Palace by the workshop ofRaphael (1515–20), which updated the vocabulary of the Roman grottesche.

The first appearances of sphinxes in French art are in the School of Fontainebleau in the 1520s and 1530s and she continues into theLate Baroque style of the French Régence(1715–1723).  In England Sphinxes are a feature of the neoclassicalinterior decorations of Robert Adam and his followers, The sphinx image also has been adopted intoMasonic architecture. As a Masonic emblem, the sphinx has been adopted in its Egyptian character as a symbol of mystery, and as such often is found as a decoration sculptured in front of Masonic temples, or engraved at the head of Masonic documents.  

 

The oldest known sphinx was found near Gobekli Tepe at another site,Nevali Çori, or possibly 120 miles to the east at Kortik Tepe, Turkey, and was dated to 9,500 BCE.

 

Dwarves

In Germanic mythology, a dwarf is a small humanoid that dwells in mountains and in the earth, and is variously associated with wisdom, smithing, mining, and crafting.

 

The modern English noun dwarf descends from the Old English dweorg.  The doorways in the mountains that they guard may be regarded as doors between worlds.  In the early Norse sources, there is no mention of their being short.  Very few beings explicitly identifiable as dwarfs appear in the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda and have quite diverse roles: murderous creators who create the mead of poetry, 'reluctant donors' of important artifacts with magical qualities, or sexual predators who lust after goddesses.      

 

Anatoly Liberman suggests that dwarfs may have originally been thought of as lesser supernatural beings, which became literal smallness after Christianization.  Latte Motz theorized that the Germanic dwarfs, particularly as smiths and gatekeepers, constituted a reminiscence of the Megalithic culture in Northern Europe.  

 

 

Faeries & Pixies. 


Mammals & other Groups

MAMMALS

 

 Cats

Statues of much larger-than-life are grouped in pairs like sentries at the arch to the vegetable parterre garden; from the herbarium & wetland gardens to the beach. 

 

Since cats were venerated in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there, but there may have been instances of their domestication as early as the Neolithic from around 9,500 years ago (7,500 BC).

A genetic study in 2007 concluded that domestic cats are descended from Near Eastern wildcats, having diverged around 8,000 BC in West Asia. A 2016 study found that leopard cats were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5,500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today.The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by Carl Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae published in 1758.

 

In ancient Egypt, cats were sacred animals, with the goddess Bastet often depicted in cat form, sometimes taking on the war-like aspect of a lioness. The Romans are often credited with introducing the domestic cat from Egypt to Europe. However, cats possibly were already kept in Europe prior to the Roman Empire, as they may have been present in Britain in the late Iron Age. Domestic cats were spread throughout much of the rest of the world during the Age of Discovery, as they were carried on sailing ships to control shipboard rodents and as good-luck charms.

 

Several ancient religions believed cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that are all-knowing but mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the maneki neko cat is a symbol of good fortune.

 

Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility in Norse mythology, is depicted as riding a chariot drawn by cats.

 

Lions:

There are two statues of lions at the garden entrance patio. Two more statues of lions in the Dianthus garden. And also two at the paved beach side patio.

There are also two Black Panthers.

Sundry

  

OTHER CLASSICAL

The Four Seasons: one in each corner of the vegetable parterre garden.

Water jug lady near the head of the waterfall.

Flower lady on the moorish quad.

Busts on plinths of Apollo and Diana.

Lady with vase in the grasses garden.

 

 

 stephencox.gardentrust@gmail.comr


STEPHEN COX GARDEN TRUST

is a Registered  Charity (number: 1174239) in England & Wales

 

PURPOSE: To advance education in the subjects of horticulture, conservation , wildlife and heritage by providing study courses, training placements, talks, and workshops and other means for the enrichment of the Wiltshire/Calne and S.Glos/N.Somerset area communities and for the improvement of human well being in general based upon the Founder’s garden, library, writings, teaching and spiritual philosophy.


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